Two days before the season opener meant Timbers Army volunteers packed the concourse on the north end of the stadium, working on Monday's tifo display. What it is will of course be shrouded in secrecy until the unveiling after you have finished singing the Star Spangled Banner. I'm sure it will be epic.
The team had a practice today, of course. In addition to the injuries on the team that everyone knew about, Franck Songo'o was not present on the training pitch Saturday, and he is listed as doubtful for Monday's match. Steve Purdy, who strained a hamstring during Wednesday's session, also missed practice.
Sal Zizzo did participate in the session, knee brace and all, but his participation was relatively limited. In a small area keep-away session, Zizzo never rotated into the defensive role in the center of the circle, remaining on the outside helping control the possession.
Coach John Spencer closed training after 40 minutes, and sent us writers to the tunnel. I snuck out and headed over to Coffeehouse Northwest to write this report.
We'll have updates later today with some quotes. Quotes from Jack Jewsbury and Kris Boyd have been appended after the jump!
On Kris Boyd
Just a great guy, a good family guy, and just a great guy to have in the locker room, so we're excited to have him here.
On watching some of the rest of the league get started this weekend.
I think for us, it is what it is, we knew our game was Monday. I'm sure some guys, including myself, will be watching some of the games. And it's exciting to get the season going, that's the bottom line. These last two months you're kind of biting at the bit for that first game to come around, because there's definitely a different feel to it than the preseason games.
On the weather forecast for Monday
I kind of expect it to rain on Monday, for sure. Last year people remember that game, and they remember the weather too, and I think it was fitting for the first game here in Portland to have weather like that.
On the team's quality
It's been good. I've enjoyed working with the lads, and we look forward to the game on Monday. The boys have applied themselves magnificently over the last two or three weeks I've been here, and I look forward to the game Monday night.
On the team's chances
We've got the belief that we can get to the playoffs. We know it's gonna be difficult, but we believe in ourselves. I think you've seen that we've got some quality players that can punish teams, if they give us a chance.
I feel OK. I feel as if I'm as good as I can be at this precise moment in time. I think any soccer player will tell you that the only way you can get fit at the next stage is by playing games. We're coming to that stage now, then. Hopefully on Monday I get the chance and we can go forward from there.
Yeah, it's fine. I feel good. As I said, I look forward to the game on Monday night, and hopefully we can get off to a good start.
I've never been one for setting goals because you only disappoint yourself if you don't get there. You only want to get off to a good start, and hopefully on Monday night I can do that, if I'm given the chance, and I look forward to the game.
Nah, it's another game. As I said, my debut is Monday night, and the butterflies are out of the stomach, I look forward to the game, the league is starting for real, and hopefully we put on a performance that gets us three points.
Getting that first goal last Sunday
It's always great to get on the scoresheet. No matter if it's preseason or any level, you want to score as soon as you can, and, yeah I was delighted to get that on Monday [Sunday] night, but more importantly for Monday night, it was good to get that 60, 70 minutes under my belt, and I'm feeling in good shape going into this Monday, and I look forward to it.
The opening day crowd
I think anybody who's been here, the friendly games I've seen, the noise they're making, I'm sure they'll turn it up come Monday night. As I said, it's great to play in front of fans so passionate and care about the club. I've played in front of fans like that before, and it helps the team as a whole. It helps the boys get that little bit of extra, to show the fans that they're willing to go that extra yard. I look forward to the game, and hopefully we can put on a good performance for them.